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Council on Birth Defect Prevention and Surveillance

The Council on Birth Defect Prevention and Surveillance was created by Wis. Stat. § 253.12 The members of this council are appointed to four-year terms by the Secretary of the Department of Health Services (DHS). Members provide a wide variety of expertise and represent a number of interested parties.

The mission of the Council on Birth Defect Prevention and Surveillance is to advise DHS regarding the development of the birth defects surveillance system outlined in 1999 Wisconsin Act 114.

Council responsibilities include:

  • Making recommendations to DHS regarding the Wisconsin Birth Defects Registry (WBDR).
  • Coordinating with the Early Intervention Interagency Coordinating Council (Wisconsin Governor’s Birth to 3 Program Interagency Coordinating Council) to facilitate the delivery of early intervention services.
  • Submitting a biennial report to the legislature detailing the effectiveness, utilization, and progress of WBDR.

All appointments are mandated representatives per Wis. Stat 15.197.12, which refers to the Council on Birth Defect Prevention and Surveillance. As specified by statute, the council includes a pediatric nurse or a nurse with expertise in birth defects, a parent or guardian of a child with a birth defect, a representative of a local public health department, and representatives of the following organizations:

  • Birth to Three Program, DHS
  • Office of Health Informatics, DHS
  • Wisconsin Board for People with Developmental Disabilities
  • Medical College of Wisconsin
  • Program for Children with Special Health Care Needs, DHS
  • Wisconsin Medical Society
  • University of Wisconsin–Madison, School of Medicine and Public Health
  • Wisconsin Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics
  • Nonprofit organization

UW Medical School Representative
Maureen Durkin, PhD, DrPH
UW–Madison School of Medicine and Public Health

Medical College of Wisconsin Representative
Krishna Acharya, MBBS, MPH
Division of Neonatology, Medical College of Wisconsin

Pediatric Nurse Representative
Hanna Rakovec, BSN, RN
Marshfield Children’s Hospital, Marshfield Medical Center

DHS Children with Special Health Needs Program Representative
Jasmine Zapata, MD, MPH
Department of Health Services, Division of Public Health

DHS Early Intervention Services Program Representative
Tessa Freedberg, MS, CCLS
Department of Health Services, Division of Medicaid Services

DHS Health Statistics Research and Analysis Representative
Nathaniel Keeley
Department of Health Services, Division of Public Health

Wisconsin Health and Hospital Association Representative
Ann Zenk, RN, BSN, MHA
Wisconsin Hospital Association

State Medical Society Representative
Susan Davidson, MD

Wisconsin Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics Representative
Kia Kjensrud
Wisconsin Chapter, American Academy of

Council on Developmental Disabilities Representative
Jennifer Neugart, MS, CRC
Wisconsin Board for People with Developmental Disabilities

Nonprofit Organization Representative
Kyle Mounts, MD, MScPH
Wisconsin Association for Perinatal Care & Perinatal Foundation

Nonprofit Organization Representative
Jessica Scott Schwoerer, MD
Society for Inherited Metabolic Disorders

Nonprofit Organization Representative
Emily Kittell, MS, CCLS
March of Dimes

Parent Representative
Danyelle Sun, BSW

Useful resources

Wisconsin resources

National resources

Disclaimer about advisory council content

This content reflects the views and opinions of the advisory council. It may not reflect the official policy or position of DHS.

Last revised June 4, 2024